Vegans and people who avoid lactose should steer clear of whey protein, which contains dairy. Here are five vegan whey protein alternatives that don’t harm the environment.
Whey is a dairy byproduct of the cheese-making process. For this reason, whey protein is not vegan, and it may be unsuitable for those who are lactose intolerant or have lactose sensitivities.
Getting enough protein in your diet is essential for keeping your body healthy. It can also aid weight management, regulate blood glucose levels and support bone health. Keep reading for five vegan, healthy and sustainably produced whey protein alternatives.
1. Pea Protein
Pea protein is a plant-based protein source. It is particularly popular for its nutritional value, which makes it a good source of protein if you’re trying to lose weight. Pea protein contains 84 percent protein, 1 percent carbohydrates and 15 percent fat. It also includes all nine essential amino acids your body needs to carry out vital functions like muscle growth.
Pea protein has many health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, regulating blood pressure and protecting against oxidative stress. Most people can eat pea protein, as it is vegan, and gluten- and dairy-free.
You can also add it easily to various recipes to boost your protein intake. It disappears into smoothies and juices for a healthful post-workout drink, or you can add it to sweet recipes like baked oats, cookies and even blueberry zucchini bread.
2. Hemp Protein
Hemp protein is another excellent vegan whey protein alternative. Hemp protein contains 15 grams of protein per 30-gram serving. It is derived from the cannabis plant and is completely plant-based.
Hemp protein contains all nine amino acids and is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The amino acids it contains make it excellent for cardiovascular health. It also has fatty acids that are essential for cardiovascular health, including lowering your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Hemp powder is a particularly good protein powder to use in smoothies as it blends well. Hemp is a sustainable, low-impact plant that requires little processing to be made into powder.
3. Soy Protein
Soy protein is another vegan, healthy and sustainable whey protein alternative. A portion size of soy protein gives you 25 grams of protein and 95 calories. Soy protein also contains all of the nine essential amino acids. Other health benefits include improved cardiovascular health, weight control, prevention of certain types of cancer and help with menopause symptoms.
Soy protein isolate can be added to juices or smoothies or sprinkled over cereal or yogurt to increase your protein intake. If you buy soy protein, it is important to buy products grown with sustainable farming methods.
4. Pumpkin Seed Protein
Pumpkin seed protein is high in protein and healthy fats. One cup of pumpkin seeds contains 12g of protein and 285 calories. When the seeds are made into powder, many of the calories are removed.
With regard to the environment, sunflower seeds are relatively sustainable as they require limited fertilizer and water, and emit lower amounts of greenhouse gases. Try our delicious pumpkin smoothie recipe, add it to shakes or smoothies, or sprinkle it on top of oatmeal.
5. Brown Rice Protein
Brown rice protein powder contains 25 grams of protein and 113 calories per cup. According to one study, brown rice contains 37 percent of its total protein as essential amino acids, making it one of the best nutritional alternatives to whey protein. Another study found that brown rice protein has anti-diabetic and anti-cholesterol properties, in addition to protecting heart health. It also contains the muscle-building leucine amino acid, which the body absorbs faster from brown rice protein than whey protein.
Brown rice protein is typically added to shakes and smoothies to give them an extra protein boost.
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